McDonald’s elusive McRib is making a huge comeback next month.
The fast food chain announced on Friday that the fan-favorite barbecue pork sandwich is returning to its menus for a limited time starting December 2nd. Though McDonald’s brings back the McRib every year, this is the first time since 2012 that the company will offer the sandwich at all of its 14,400 locations across the U.S. In recent years, the McRib was only sold at select locations, leaving fans desperately searching for the limited-time menu item.
“The McRib has been a beloved menu item at McDonald’s since its inception nearly 40 years ago,” Linda VanGosen, McDonald’s vice president of menu innovation, said in a statement. “There’s nothing quite like the taste of the McRib. To our customers, it’s become more than a delicious, saucy moment… it’s a season, and it’s taking the internet by storm. That’s why this year, we’re proud to serve the McRib nationwide for everyone to enjoy.”
Featuring a boneless pork patty that is shaped like a rack of ribs, smothered in barbecue sauce, and topped with pickles and onions, the McRib was first added to the McDonald’s menu back in 1982. It was created by McDonald’s first executive chef and McNuggets inventor Rene Arend after feasting on pulled-pork sandwiches on a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Though it was favorably received by fast food lovers, it didn’t become as popular as the McNuggets, so McDonald’s decided that the sandwich worked best as a limited-time item.
This year’s nationwide rollout of McRib comes as sales of McDonald’s U.S. are rebounding from a dismal spring quarter when COVID-19 started spreading across the country. In a regulatory filing in October, the company said sales at its U.S. restaurants open at least a year jumped 4.6% in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. The boost in sales was reportedly driven by strong performance at dinner, exciting promotions, and new menu items, like the Travis Scott Meal, J Balvin Meal, and McCafe’s apple fritter, blueberry muffin, and cinnamon roll.
Though the return of the McRib could fuel even higher sales growth for McDonald’s, a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the country could delay the fast food chain’s recovery.